Louise Callan Biography

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Louise Callan, RSCJ (1893-1966): Historian and Biographer of Philippine Duchesne Table of Contents Introduction Early Years Into the Society of the Sacred Heart Mother Callan, Author and College Professor Memories of Students and Communities The Lectures on Mother Duchesne The View through Relationship The Biography Appears and Sets a Future Course To the New Maryville Campus Unexpectedly, the End Acknowledgements INTRODUCTION One might well ask: why remember Louise Callan, RSCJ, nearly fifty years after her death? During her lifetime she was a dearly loved college teacher, a loyal friend, a superb scholar, and a well-respected historian and biographer. She was the author of two books of crucial…show more content…
Yet she was to spend three more years, 1937-1940, teaching English, History, Religion, Latin, and Chemistry at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, while also being organist and choir director. She arrived in New Orleans in August, 1937, just after her book had appeared. The students were very impressed that they had a Ph.D. and an author for teacher. She had the Fourth Academic (senior) class each year for their major subjects, and she was soon very popular with students and parents alike. In the summer of 1939, she taught three History courses at San Francisco College for Women, and by fall, 1940, she was at Maryville College in Saint Louis teaching History, Education, and Religion as well as responsible for organ and choir. She had no formal training in theology or Scripture, yet throughout her years at Maryville she taught in these areas, though she never felt completely…show more content…
Once when in charge of a high school recreation, she came with a guitar to play and sing. A student who was there said that it gave her an entirely different view of the Society. At the old Maryville, Louise’s classroom was on the second floor just to the side of the chapel, and her little office off the classroom had a window that opened onto the chapel. It was also near the organ loft, and she was organist and choir director. She composed her own choir hymnal for use of the choir. She was very much updated on the burgeoning liturgical movement and was ready to adjust to the new ways of liturgical practice that were coming in in the 1950s. All the leaders in the student body were in the choir, so it was a powerful group and the place where you found out what was happening among the students. Often before Sunday afternoon Benediction, students in the choir would arrive early and find her in prayer on the prie-dieu near the organ. On the day of a birthday of one of the choir members, Louise would improvise “Happy Birthday” on the organ at Communion, so subtly that others not in the choir did not catch on. During the student retreat, she would insist on one and one-half hours of choir practice daily. The first fifteen minutes would be choir practice, and the rest was sing-along, to let off steam. One year the retreat was particularly dreadful and the students were angry. Louise said
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